If you want to take the short way for becoming a great online moneymaker, you should be aware that not everything that flies is a bird. You should avoid those scammy enterprises that can only lead to debt. While some no-go’s are recognizable from a distance, there are other more elusive mistakes that can make your online business wreck. Watch out for the following faux pas.
When you make a start
First of all: don’t chase too many ideas at once. You know that kind of entrepreneur wannabes who get enthusiastic over ten business ideas a day but finalize none at the end of the month. Especially when you are a startup, it’s best to focus on a single channel (such as consultancy, blogging, retail or any other moneymaking project) and do it seriously.
Definitely avoid those gurus who promise to offer you a one-click website overnight that you can use for earning billions. Most of the times, these automatic generated sites are loaded with affiliate links and scraped content. Generally, beware of all of those “get-rich quickly” scams—this is not at all a starting point for your online carrier.
If you don’t have the means to open a standalone business and you are looking for some freelancing jobs, check out sites like freelancer.com or guru.com, which offer gigs in all domains you can think of. Also, there are tens of scam-free ways to make money online, one is surely suitable for you too.
Inside the business
Blogging is one of the most popular means of making money online. To avoid cutting off readership and profits, try not to:
- Restrict readers’ access to your blog posts with a fee for further reading. This is just greedy. Maybe it would earn you some ten dollars a month but at the cost of losing hundreds of visitors.
- Write too much about too many (in an overly general tone). Of course, every blogger’s dream is to be found by any possible search query, but this is far-fetched. Choose a distinct area of topics that you will able to optimize easily for SEO and backlinks.
- Blog anonymously. Your site will not earn Google’s bonus for legitimacy if it doesn’t have a real About Us and Contact page with a feedback form.
- Engage in flame wars with fellow bloggers. Trashy behavior may result in a temporary spike in traffic (partially due to Google’s diversity algorithm, how ironically). However, it’s not a viable alternative if you wish to become a trusted authority.
Online retail business is another appealing idea for startups as it requires very little initial investment and has good earning prospects. What not to do as a retail beginner?
- Provide no customer service. People should have at least a support e-mail or web form to send their inquiries to and get replies no later than one business day. Even the smallest of the businesses can afford this kind of customer support.
- Enroll into something that’s larger than you. Don’t choose to merchandise high end goods that sell hardly, especially if you are not yet a brand. Also, avoid selling anything to anyone – a site that’s stuffed with all kinds of products is a no-go from the first glance.
- Start off without some basic market research to check whether there is a request for your type of products online. Business success basically means to find a need and fill it, so locate your target as accurate as possible.
Website admin takeaways
AdSense hosting done right can earn you some nice bucks. To be successful with AdSense, your website is due not to look like MFA. To avoid Google penalties, make sure you remove these flubs:
- Too low amount of unique and informative content. Anything less than 10 pages of original content brings you dangerously close to getting banned.
- Spammy ads across pages. A clear warning sign for Google are ad blocks right below the page title and more than 2-3 ads per page. Consider sacrificing some ad slots for the sake of credibility, even if they theoretically have high CTR.
- The same theme on multiple sites. So-called “SEO themes” are something to avoid, as they are recognizable by bots as spam sources. If you own more than one site, take time to customize the theme on each of them and optimize it for a good user experience. Search engines will react favorably.
- Keyword stuffing. Don’t try to keyword-optimize everything from titles to headings and body text. The inclusion of repetitive long tail phrases or highlighting them in bold everywhere is not only annoying for users, but also bad for your rankings.
- Having the same hosting account for multiple websites. This is risky because if one of your properties unfortunately gets banned, there’s a chance to trigger the same for the rest of them. It’s a good time and money investment to place each site on a different account. You cannot avoid the risks associated with using the same Adsense account across your web properties as Google allows only one account per individual.
- Bad affiliating. Don’t agree to affiliate just about everyone who drops an offer in your Spam email box. Only domains that are trustworthy and well ranked can bring you benefits from affiliating.
With so many don’ts, starting an online business may seem intimidating. But it’s not. With a little bit of flair and know-how, plus the ambition to succeed, great income may just knock at your door! Good luck!
About the author: Laura Moisei has a degree in Communication and writes for 123ContactForm, a professional web form builder for all types of businesses. Her main hobbies are blogging, photography and good food.